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Sole Survivor

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Overview

The story begins with a catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash. Three hundred and thirty dead, no survivors. Among the victims, the wife and two young daughters of Los Angeles Post crime reporter Joe Carpenter. A year later, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, unable to work, unable to imagine any relief but his own death, Joe encounters a woman named Rose. She claims to have survived the crash, and holds out a tantalizing possibility: a secret that will bring Joe peace of mind. But before he can ask ...
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Sole Survivor

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Overview

The story begins with a catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash. Three hundred and thirty dead, no survivors. Among the victims, the wife and two young daughters of Los Angeles Post crime reporter Joe Carpenter. A year later, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, unable to work, unable to imagine any relief but his own death, Joe encounters a woman named Rose. She claims to have survived the crash, and holds out a tantalizing possibility: a secret that will bring Joe peace of mind. But before he can ask any questions, she slips away. Driven now by rage (have the authorities withheld information from the families of the victims?) and a hope almost as unbearable as his grief (if there really was one survivor, could there have been others?), Joe sets out to find the woman: "The resolution of this mystery was his mission, his purpose, and perhaps an unknowable redemption." But his search immediately leads him into the path of a powerful and shadowy organization hell-bent on stopping Rose before she can reveal what she knows about the crash. And Joe's connection to her - the nature of which he comes to understand only by inches - makes him part of the quarry. The novel unfolds at a heart-stopping pace as a desperate chase and a shattering emotional odyssey lead Joe to a truth that will force him to reassess everything he thought he knew about life and death - a truth that, given the chance, will rock the world and redefine the destiny of humanity.

The most compelling novel to date from the #1 bestselling author of Intensity. Among the 200 victims of a catastrophic plane crash are crime reporter Joe Carpenter's wife and two children. Joe is told that there were no survivors. But, a year later, Joe learns of a secret survivor. Still suffering from unbearable grief--and now rage--Joe sets out to discover the truth, and becomes the target of shadowy and powerful adversaries. LG Main Selection. 320 pp. Drive-time satellite tour. Media ads. Website promo. 600,000 print. (Psychological Suspense)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Koontz's last thriller, Intensity, delivered shocks like a stripped hot wire. Here, the insulation-the preaching about societal rot and spiritual redemption-is back on, thicker than ever. And that's too bad, because this tale is emblematic of how, in 15 years of bestsellers, Koontz has bridged the commercial gap between the occultism of Stephen King and the scientism of Michael Crichton. Like Crichton's Airframe (also from Knopf; Forecasts, Nov. 11), this novel focuses on the aftermath of an airline disaster, a crash that has apparently killed all on board and has ravaged the soul of L.A. crime reporter Joe Carpenter. A year after the crash, Joe, who lost his wife and two daughters, is a walking dead man. A visit to their graves wrenches his life around when he spots a black woman taking photos of the site and sees her set upon by thugs. Incredible events follow. Joe witnesses relatives of the crash victims commit senseless suicide, learns that the woman, a genetic scientist, was on the plane but miraculously survived, finds out that she is the quarry of a military-industrial cabal and gains hope that one of his daughters also may have survived. The secret behind the mayhem, which is delivered at breakneck speed, concerns a "scientific" breakthrough into "mystical" truth that Koontz presents like an absentminded professor. But if his science his bad, his soapboxing is worse-a merciless rant against moral turpitude-and his prose is ripe to the point of decay. Has Koontz ever met an adjective or adverb, metaphor or simile, that he hasn't liked? His sympathetic characters drown in the overwriting; his uplifting sentiments wither under the finger-wagging. Driven by author name, marketing and theme, this will sell big, but the sole survivor won't be the reader. 600,000 first printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; simultaneous Random House audio and large print edition; author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
When a plane crashes, killing the family of crime reporter Joe Carpenter, he's grief-stricken. But when it turns out there was a "sole survivor"a woman scientist who has stolen something from the governmenthe's absolutely enraged. There's a 600,000-copy first printing, and that's just for books; this thriller will appear in every format imaginable, including a giant 3-D book.
School Library Journal
YAJoe Carpenter's life stops with the deaths of his beloved wife and two young daughters in an airplane crash surrounded by mystery350 dead and no survivors. Marking the first anniversary of the disaster with a visit to their graves, Joe encounters a young woman taking pictures of their tombstones. She tells him her name is Rose and that she survived the crash that killed his family. Before Joe can continue the conversation, they are attacked by two gunmen. As Rose flees for her life, Joe knows he must discover the truth of what happened to the fatal flight and the reason for the cover-up. His search leads him to relatives of other crash victimsmost of whom commit bizarre suicides and all of whom have been contacted by Rose. His investigation reveals that Rose was in possession of government secrets that could change the world once she exposed them. Koontz has readers so totally involved that even Joe's impossible dream, that a member of his family may have survived the crash under Rose's protection, seems possible. A spellbinding novel.Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
Kirkus Reviews
With only a sliver less suspense, Koontz follows up 1996's Intensity with an afterlife novel about a plane crash.

Los Angeles crime reporter Joe Carpenter (ah, those initials) needs resurrecting. One year ago his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Chrissie and little Nina, actually did die in a devastating plane crash over Colorado: no survivors. In a dive, the plane had rocketed straight into millennial rock, leaving only two pieces larger than a car door. Joe, locked in unbearable grief, has quit work, sold his house, moved to a studio apartment over a garage, and is gnawing himself to death with weight loss. Meetings with a compassionate survivor group haven't helped. Rage and anger with an unjust God in whom Joe doesn't believe takes up all his energy. Then visiting his wife and children's graves, Joe finds Dr. Rose Tucker, a black Asian woman with great presence who's taking Polaroids of his family's burial sites. She tells him she survived the crash! But suddenly two men appear and start shooting at her as she races off. Joe soon finds himself involved in unraveling a suicide plague that has struck relatives of the plane's dead. Rose has taken Polaroids of the graves of other relatives as well—but whoever gets one of her pictures first sees a blissful image of the afterlife, then commits suicide, often horribly. As Joe tracks Rose down, he hears that a little girl survived with her, a girl named Nina. Has mankind reached a turning point, as Dr. Tucker avers, at which science has now proven the existence of the afterlife? Funded by a multibillionaire, a secret but massive scientific effort larger than the Manhattan Project has made fantastic strides in the paranormal and revealed a breakthrough into . . . but some baddies want to use this discovery for their own ends, and thus Joe and Rose—and Nina!—must be killed.

Masterfully styled, serious entertainment. These are Koontz's great years.

From the Publisher
“Koontz at his haunting, page-turning best.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Dean Koontz is one of the best suspense writers operating today, with unfailing narrative drive.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
“[A] fast-paced masterpiece . . . impossible to put down.”—Lansing State Journal
 
“Taut plotting, stark terror, and sweet redemption.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553582949
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

SOLE SURVIVOR: Excerpt
Chapter Two


Later Saturday morning, driving to Santa Monica, Joe Carpenter suffered an anxiety attack. His chest tightened, and he was able to draw breath only with effort. When he lifted one hand from the wheel, his fingers quivered like those of a palsied old man.

He was overcome by a sense of falling, as from a great height, as though his Honda had driven off the freeway into an inexplicable and bottomless abyss. The pavement stretched unbroken ahead of him, and the tires sang against the blacktop, but he could not reason himself back to a perception of stability.

Indeed, the plummeting sensation grew so severe and terrifying that he took his foot off the accelerator and tapped the brake pedal.

Horns blared and skidding tires squealed as traffic adjusted to his sudden deceleration. As cars and trucks swept past the Honda, the drivers glared murderously at Joe or mouthed offensive words or made obscene gestures. This was Greater Los Angeles in an age of change, crackling with the energy of doom, yearning for the Apocalypse, where an unintended slight or an inadvertent trespass on someone else's turf might result in a thermonuclear response.

His sense of falling did not abate. His stomach turned over as if he were aboard a roller coaster, plunging along a precipitous length of track. Although he was alone in the car, he heard the screams of passengers, faint at first and then louder, not the good-humored shrieks of thrill seekers at an amusement park, but cries of genuine anguish.

As though from a distance, he listened to himself whispering, "No, no, no, no."

A brief gap in traffic allowed him toangle the Honda off the pavement. The shoulder of the freeway was narrow. He stopped as close as possible to the guardrail, over which lush oleander bushes loomed like a great cresting green tide.

He put the car in Park but didn't switch off the engine. Even though he was sheathed in cold sweat, he needed the chill blasts of air conditioning to be able to breathe. The pressure on his chest increased. Each stuttering inhalation was a struggle, and each hot exhalation burst from him with an explosive wheeze.

Although the air in the Honda was clear, Joe smelled smoke. He tasted it too: the acrid mélange of burning oil, melting plastic, smoldering vinyl, scorched metal.

When he glanced at the dense clusters of leaves and the deep-red flowers of the oleander pressing against the windows on the passenger side, his imagination morphed them into billowing clouds of greasy smoke. The window became a rectangular porthole with rounded corners and thick dual-pane glass.

Joe might have thought he was losing his mind—if he hadn't suffered similar anxiety attacks during the past year. Although sometimes as much as two weeks passed between episodes, he often endured as many as three in one day, each lasting between ten minutes and half an hour.

He had seen a therapist. The counseling had not helped.

His doctor recommended anti-anxiety medication. He rejected the prescription. He wanted to feel the pain. It was all he had.

Closing his eyes, covering his face with his icy hands, he strove to regain control of himself, but the catastrophe continued to unfold around him. The sense of falling intensified. The smell of smoke thickened. The screams of phantom passengers grew louder.

Everything shook. The floor beneath his feet. The cabin walls. The ceiling. Horrendous rattling and twanging and banging and gong-like clanging accompanied the shaking, shaking, shaking.

"Please," he pleaded.

Without opening his eyes, he lowered his hands from his face. They lay fisted at his sides.

After a moment, the small hands of frightened children clutched at his hands, and he held them tightly.

The children were not in the car, of course, but in their seats in the doomed airliner. Joe was flashing back to the crash of Flight 353. For the duration of this seizure, he would be in two places at once: in the real world of the Honda and in the Nationwide Air 747 as it found its way down from the serenity of the stratosphere, through an overcast night sky, into a meadow as unforgiving as iron.

Michelle had been sitting between the kids. Her hands, not Joe's, were those that Chrissie and Nina gripped in their last long minutes of unimaginable dread.

As the shaking grew worse, the air was filled with projectiles. Paperback books, laptop computers, pocket calculators, flatware and dishes—because a few passengers had not yet finished dinner when disaster struck—plastic drinking glasses, single-serving bottles of liquor, pencils, and pens ricocheted through the cabin.

Coughing because of the smoke, Michelle would have urged the girls to keep their heads down. Heads down. Protect your faces.

Such faces. Beloved faces. Seven-year-old Chrissie had her mother's high cheekbones and clear green eyes. Joe would never forget the flush of joy that suffused Chrissie's face when she was taking a ballet lesson, or the squint-eyed concentration with which she approached home plate to take her turn at bat in Little League baseball games. Nina, only four, the pug-nosed munchkin with eyes as blue as sapphires, had a way of crinkling her sweet face in pure delight at the sight of a dog or cat. Animals were drawn to her—and she to them—as though she were the reincarnation of St. Francis of Assisi, which was not a far-fetched idea when one saw her gazing with wonder and love upon even an ugly garden lizard cupped in her small, careful hands.

Heads down. Protect your faces.

In that advice was hope, the implication that they would all survive and that the worst thing that might happen to them would be a face-disfiguring encounter with a hurtling laptop or broken glass.

The fearsome turbulence increased. The angle of descent grew more severe, pinning Joe to his seat, so that he couldn't easily bend forward and protect his face.

Maybe the oxygen masks dropped from overhead, or maybe damage to the craft had resulted in a systems failure, with the consequence that masks had not been deployed at every seat. He didn't know if Michelle, Chrissie, and Nina had been able to breathe or if, choking on the billowing soot, they had struggled futilely to find fresh air.

Smoke surged more thickly through the passenger compartment. The cabin became as claustrophobic as any coal mine deep beneath the surface of the earth.

In the blinding blackdamp, hidden sinuosities of fire uncoiled like snakes. The wrenching terror of the aircraft's uncontrolled descent was equaled by the terror of not knowing where those flames were or when they might flash with greater vigor through the 747.

As the stress on the airliner increased to all but intolerable levels, thunderous vibrations shuddered through the fuselage. The giant wings thrummed as though they would tear loose. The steel frame groaned like a living beast in mortal agony, and perhaps minor welds broke with sounds as loud and sharp as gunshots. A few rivets sheered off, each with a piercing screeeeek.

To Michelle and Chrissie and little Nina, perhaps it seemed that the plane would disintegrate in flight and that they would be cast into the black sky, be spun away from one another, plummeting in their separate seats to three separate deaths, each abjectly alone at the instant of impact.

The huge 747-400, however, was a marvel of design and a triumph of engineering, brilliantly conceived and soundly constructed. In spite of the mysterious hydraulics failure that rendered the aircraft uncontrollable, the wings did not tear loose, and the fuselage did not disintegrate. Its powerful Pratt and Whitney engines screaming as if in defiance of gravity, Nationwide Flight 353 held together throughout its final descent.

At some point Michelle would have realized that all hope was lost, that they were in a dying plunge. With characteristic courage and selflessness, she would have thought only of the children then, would have concentrated on comforting them, distracting them as much as possible from thoughts of death. No doubt she leaned toward Nina, pulled her close, and in spite of the breath-stealing fumes, spoke into the girl's ear to be heard above the clamor: It's okay, baby, we're together, I love you, hold on to Mommy, I love you, you're the best little girl who ever was. Shaking down, down, down through the Colorado night, her voice full of emotion but devoid of panic, she had surely sought out Chrissie too: It's all right, I'm with you, honey, hold my hand, I love you so much, I'm so very proud of you, we're together, it's all right, we'll always be together.

In the Honda alongside the freeway, Joe could hear Michelle's voice almost as if from memory, as though he had been with her as she had comforted the children. He wanted desperately to believe that his daughters had been able to draw upon the strength of the exceptional woman who had been their mother. He needed to know that the last thing the girls heard in this world was Michelle telling them how very precious they were, how cherished.

The airliner met the meadow with such devastating impact that the sound was heard more than twenty miles away in the rural Colorado vastness, stirring hawks and owls and eagles out of trees and into flight, startling weary ranchers from their armchairs and early beds.

In the Honda, Joe Carpenter let out a muffled cry. He doubled over as if he had been struck hard in the chest.

The crash was catastrophic. Flight 353 exploded on impact and tumbled across the meadow, disintegrating into thousands of scorched and twisted fragments, spewing orange gouts of burning jet fuel that set fire to evergreens at the edge of the field. Three hundred and thirty people, including passengers and crew, perished instantly.

Michelle, who had taught Joe Carpenter most of what he knew about love and compassion, was snuffed out in that merciless moment. Chrissie, seven-year-old ballerina and baseball player, would never again pirouette on point or run the bases. And if animals felt the same psychic connection with Nina that she felt with them, then in that chilly Colorado night, the meadows and the wooded hills had been filled with small creatures that cowered miserably in their burrows.

Of his family, Joe Carpenter was the sole survivor.

He had not been with them on Flight 353. Every soul aboard had been hammered into ruin against the anvil of the earth. If he had been with them, then he too would have been identifiable only by his dental records and a printable finger or two.

His flashbacks to the crash were not memories but exhausting fevers of imagination, frequently expressed in dreams and sometimes in anxiety attacks like this one. Racked by guilt because he had not perished with his wife and daughters, Joe tortured himself with these attempts to share the horror that they must have experienced.

Inevitably, his imaginary journeys on the earthbound airplane failed to bring him the healing acceptance for which he longed. Instead, each nightmare and each waking seizure salted his wounds.

He opened his eyes and stared at the traffic speeding past him. If he chose the right moment, he could open the door, step out of the car, walk onto the freeway, and be struck dead by a truck.

He remained safely in the Honda, not because he was afraid to die, but for reasons unclear even to him. Perhaps, for the time being at least, he felt the need to punish himself with more life.

Against the passenger-side windows, the overgrown oleander bushes stirred ceaselessly in the wind from the passing traffic. The friction of the greenery against the glass raised an eerie whispering like lost and forlorn voices.

He was not shaking any more.

The sweat on his face began to dry in the cold air gushing from the dashboard vents.

He was no longer plagued by a sensation of falling. He had reached bottom.

Through the August heat and a thin haze of smog, passing cars and trucks shimmered like mirages, trembling westward toward cleaner air and the cooling sea. Joe waited for a break in traffic and then headed once more for the edge of the continent.


From the Audio Cassette (Unabridged) edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 113 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2011

    Worst Koontz book I've read

    Let me first preface this by stating that I am an avid Dean Koontz fan. I grew up reading most of his work and some of my favorites include Watchers, Phantoms, Lighning, The Bad Place, The Taking, and the Frankenstein series. That said, this book was the least entertaining of any I've read by him. It was slow, uninteresting and had no Wow! factor anywhere. The ending was another complete let down. There are so many other fantastic Koontz books to choose from so do yourself a favor an look elsewhere for a book worthy of the Koontz name.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Did not like Did not like

    I just could not get into this book. I bought it the day it came out and read it straight through. It felt rushed and had a horrible ending. I have never read it again and i have read and reread every dean koontz book at least 3 or more times.



    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Always brillant

    Another A+ dean koontz is amazing! If i didnt know better i
    would say he was obe scfy creations....lol brillant

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Great

    Kept me on the edge

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    A wonderful story

    This story touched me deeply. Dean Koontz is by far one of the best in his field.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another excellent story, well told by Mr. Koontz

    This has all the ingredients of every other Dean Koontz book. That might sound negative, but if something works, why change? Strong, beautiful women; the average Joe who is almost superhuman in the face of adversity; bad guys from shady companies/agencies; mysterious and maybe supernatural forces at work; etc, etc, etc. It's a great recipe, and the stories are always different still. It's a recipe that I find very satisfying and full of flavor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Wonderful book

    Great story

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  • Posted April 7, 2012

    Different but very good!!!

    Not had a chance to read much lately so I'm glad this one was my choice. Story is very compelling, by the fact that this could happen to anyone of us at any time. Koontz has always been one of my favorite authors, and he didn't let me down. Different kind of story line form him but seems to have been well thought out. READ ON FOLKS!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Slow to catch flight

    Dean koontz is my favorite by far, and this book was a delight to read. However, it was not this one was not my favorite. Usually i am gripped to read what may come next but i felt myself having to pull towards the end. I can also say i have never disliked the main character but in this one i did. Still a very good read but not one i will picking up again.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Superb scientific thriller!

    I so enjoyed reading Sole Survivor! It kept a good pace. Had great character development. And had a scientific paranormal like plot that was truly unique. It sure was a thrilling novel. I highly recommended Sole Survivor!

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    not what I thought!

    This is a very good read. Easy to keep track of the participants. It was not what I thought. As I read there were times I found my jaw drop. It's worth your reading time.

    Enjoy!

    Sharon

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another great book

    This book was great. I never saw the tv mini series but I want to watch it now that I have read the book to see if they did it any justice.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    awesome book!

    This book was fast paced and suspenseful, a must read

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ultimate mystery with a wicked ending

    I often turn to Koontz when I want a deliciously sharp, satisfying read that has mystery, horror, thrill of a good chase, a possible supernatural story line and of course great characters. Sole Survivor was very interesting right from the start; a father mourning his dead family on a sudden quest for truth when his life takes on a strange turn. A year after his wife and daughters face an untimely death on a flight that should have been a piece of cake, Joe Carpenter finds himself followed by men who seem to have a slew of surveillance equipment to their disposal. He shrugs it off since he doesn't really care about life anymore being alone and lost, but when he finds a mysterious woman taking pictures of his family's graves at the cemetery he suddenly wants to live, only to discover why the surveillance is needed to follow him and get her. She tells him her name but is chased off, suddenly Joe knows that his life in the past year has been a lie, that there was no accident, something happened and the woman at the cemetery is in center of it all, the problem is finding her and not getting caught himself. Joe is on the run from some very powerful people who will not give up in silencing him once he's gotten the idea that this was no ordinary plane crash. The idea that she was on that flight doesn't seem to leave him alone, Joe becomes obsessed with discovering her ties to the whole affair.

    Once I started reading this I was totally sucked in, Joe wallowed in pity and pain, yes there was a lot of that but it made the story realistic, it helped me feel what he felt, it put me in his shoes and made the answer only that more urgent to get to. The story truly took a dive into the bizarre at the end, but I liked it, it was interesting and I enjoyed discovering the truth behind the tragedy. This was hard to put down once I started it and I had a nice time reading it, another good read from Koontz, and lots more to go.

    - Kasia S.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Koontz can do better

    I'm a big koontz fan so I know his full potential, but to me this book was kind of slow. It really didn't draw me in until the last 100 pages, which was pretty intense, but everything before that just kind of dragged on. I know it sounds a bit harsh, and I hate to sound like this to one of dean's novels because I have a lot of respect for him. But that's just my opinion anyways, I wouldn't really recommend it but if you want to read it go for it, don't listen to me haha. Overall, it was an okay book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Amazing!

    I have already recommended this book to my family and friends. It is a definite page-turner. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    this book was alright but it was very slow until like the last 100 pages or so

    i liked this book even though it was slow for the first part but then it started picking up and i just couldnt put the book down because i just had to find out what happens next i really liked the part where in the end out of nowhere the black lady tells him that she is in this secret organization and that caught my attention and the kid who has to kill all these people for "treats" i thought that was very cruel so i had to find out what happened to him

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    Dean Koontz Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I absolutely LOVE Dean Koontz. I am a highschool student and he is the only author I will read. His stories are full of suspense, tragedy, love and almost sci-fi.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    I thought the storyline was very good, and the characters were just as good. However, It was way to wordy. At some points in the book, the author took up a whole page in a half describing sceneries and such swaying away from the storyline. I found that rather annoying. Other than that It had a good plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    A very depressing tale!

    The book is very depressing with a lot of death in it. A character comes to light through out the book and makes you wonder what will happen next and whether it will be good or bad? And at times is very wordy. A good read if you demand to read all of his books. It was ok but not great. Just not as smooth as his usual.

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